A great discussion with a lot of knowledge and if no one minds l'd like to add a few novice
perceptions. You are welcome to tell me I simply don't know what i'm talking about. - but i'm here to learn so it's not a problem.
for the sake of context, here's a brief summary of experience:
a day dancing around in the Atlantic w/ 35 - 40 and 6 - 8 swells
a squall with 70kt sustained winds for an hour or so.
lots of days w/ 6-8 foot seas and moderate wind
admittingly nothing that looks even close to a gale. (thank god!)
the statement which really got my attention is this: "the boat will tend to stay bow to the WIND".
This statement seems to need some qualification or it is difficult to apply. My own experience is under bare poles when it's blowing, the boat will naturally tend to fall off and run stern to wind
. Even with some sail up - this is not for sure in my mind.
First problem I see: this statement doesn't account for sea state.
With any sail up, yes she will want to naturally stay pointed, assuming all is balanced (more like tip toeing to my mind). I think this may be a big assumption since even a small wave can knock you off this point of balance for a few seconds, and those few seconds can turn into an infinite hell to correct a course in a blow (limited experience: but definitely some).
Another series of comments which made sense had to do with hanging a drogue
off the bow. Really no different in dynamics then hanging from a mooring
in a blow, with the exception that you are not tied to the bottom. Again the issue seems to be sea state. In big rollers, I can imagine this strategy. In breakers or steep swells....... say beyond 30 degrees from horizontal, well... i'd be concerned.
Point of confusion:
so say i'm bow to the wind and waves with a drogue
hanging off the bow.
a steep roller comes along and knocks the whole kit and kaboodle off from being pointed. In my mind, the next wave is going to take me broadside and that is where the game
Unless i'm mistaken, no one has yet mentioned being Hove To.
and i'm thinking there is the possible combination of tactics to keep the boat safe. Granted this adds to the difficulty of a likely already fatigued crew....but hey were on a blog...